Whether it's vehicle breakdowns or collisions, downtime is inevitable when it comes to fleet vehicles. When a vehicle is out of service, it causes a knock-on effect; your operations stall, customers become unhappy, employees become jobless, and your revenue takes a hit.
Whether you are a plumbing, electrical, security, moving, painting, or landscaping company that owns a fleet, here's what you need to know about fleet downtime and how to minimize it.
Reasons Behind Downtime
When thinking about downtime, most people only consider maintenance issues and accidents as the reason behind it. However, they are many factors that may keep your vehicle grounded. Bad weather, vehicle booting, license, and traffic can also affect the productivity of your fleet. While some factors are avoidable, others aren't.
Fleet downtime comes with some obvious and less obvious costs. Some costs may be felt immediately, while others affect the budget in the long run. Some expenses caused by downtime include; towing and roadside emergency repair costs.
When your vehicles are not operating as desired, you won't be in a position to transfer your experts and tools to where they are needed, and you will regularly be forced to cancel or reschedule appointments. In the long-term, dissatisfied clients may opt to work with a rival company. Below are tips to help you minimize downtime.
Choose the Right Vehicles
The vehicles you pick for your fleet will determine how often you experience downtime. To make sure you are making the right choice, make sure you select vehicles that are specifically built for the job you want them to do. Overtaxing a vehicle can increase issues like wear and tear and increase the frequency of repairs.
If your job involves ferrying heavy objects e.g. debris removal companies, you will need a ride that can handle the payload. Apart from that, it's recommended you pick newer vehicles that are equipped with the latest technology. Newer rides require less maintenance and the technology can alert you whenever a problem begins to develop.
Conduct Effective Inspections
Fleet inspections are the key to discovering and fixing vehicle problems before they lead to costly repairs. Your company should have a fleet inspection program to ensure every vehicle is in good shape.
This is not only beneficial to your company, but it is also a requirement by law. Drivers should inspect the car every day before heading out, and professional technicians should be in charge of performing detailed checks.
Perform Timely Maintenance
A preventative maintenance program will allow you to fix minor issues before they turn into major problems. However, your vehicle to be out of service when it's being worked on.
To reduce downtime when performing regular maintenance, schedule maintenance during off-hours. This will ensure your vehicle isn't in the auto shop when it should be working in the field.
Minimize Shop Time
The faster your vehicles get out of the repair shop, the more productive your fleet will be. Therefore, you need to streamline your maintenance and repair process.
To avoid wasting time, schedule maintenance in advance, check beforehand whether the required spare parts are available, and work with maintenance facilities that utilize the latest technology.
Promote Staff Accountability
Drivers should be accountable for the vehicles they drive. When drivers properly care for the vehicles, downtime is significantly reduced.
Accountable drivers properly inspect the car before heading out, they observe traffic rules, they are less likely to cause accidents, and they take the vehicle to the auto shop on time. You can start a program to reward the most responsible drivers.
If your company uses a fleet, unplanned out-of-service is not an option. To minimize downtime and maximize fleet productivity, make sure you lease the right vehicles, perform frequent inspections, conduct preventative maintenance, and promote employee accountability. To further increase uptime and boost productivity, invest in fleet management technologies.